Conventional design wisdom dictates keeping your larger pieces of upholstery neutral to provide a transitional backdrop; meaning most people are steered to white, off-white, beige, and grey. I love a blank canvas as much as the next person, and neutrals do allow you flexibility if you like to switch it up often, but here’s the thing, neutral isn’t your only option.

You’re not a design deviant if you secretly think you’d love a moss green velvet sofa but your mother-in-law, best friend, HGTV, favorite blogger–whoever–told you it would be “too bold” or you really should “stick with neutral”. The truth is, you won’t be as limited as you might think you will be by choosing color.

I could make a convincing argument for just about any color being used as a neutral in a room, and I could definitely come up with at least three design schemes to show you how unlimited you are, but I’ll let a few of my favorite rooms below do the talking.

India Hicks Pink Sofa

McGrath II Pink Sofa

Ann Mashburn Pink Sofa

Miles Redd Red Sofa

Tilton Fenwick Orange Chaise

Ali Cayne Yellow Sofa

Southern Living Green Sofa

Sofia Coppola Blue Sofa

Caroline Sieber | Vogue

Tory Burch Peacock Sofa

Zhush Navy Sofa | Domaine

Aerin Lauder Purple Sofa

After that glorious ROYGBIV of sofas are you convinced yet? I’ll admit, you do have to be more thoughtful if you decide to go with a bolder sofa. It’s definitely not an impulse buy, and you’ll absolutely regret it if you try and plop a peacock blue sofa à la Tory Burch in a room without thinking how it will relate to the other elements within it and the surrounding rooms.

With that said, don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through. It’s okay to not be “conventional”.  The photos above all embrace color, but are still all very classic to me–your house won’t be a circus. Take stock of what colors you gravitate towards or already have in your home, or better yet, hire someone to help you. 😉 I’m making it a goal to have at least a few colorful sofas in my projects this year.

Cheers to the year of the colorful sofa!



  1. I ordered an orange velvet tufted sofa for my living room 3 months ago. It should be in this week. I’m sure my friends think I’m crazy, but I could not envision living with a sea of beige!! I’m not that girl!! Thanks for the validation!

  2. I have an unusually colored tufted leather camelback sofa and for years have had the hardest time decorating around it. It’s a pumpkin spice color that should read like a neutral but it wasn’t until we moved into our new house (3 years ago!) that I began to embrace it. Sometimes you have to get the right piece in the right place to make it work! I love it and get so many compliments on it.

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